R&R in Belize

 

DCIM100GOPROToday is our freeday in Belize. We had several options of what to do today, including nothing, visiting La Placentia (the town), fishing, snorkeling, or scuba diving.

A few of us decided to go scuba diving – I’ve never done this before and thought it would be fun to give it a try.

The day started with about 30 minutes of classroom discussion on the basics of scuba diving. We didn’t need full certification since we would be with a certified divemaster. After the classroom instruction, we went out to get fitted with our equipment and then out to the boat to the island, who’s name I’ve totally forgotten, where we would be diving.

For the first dive, we would start by practicing some basic underwater skills (in order):

  1. Remove the regulator, breath out slowly, and put the regulator back in (if you’re not familiar, the regulator is the mouthpiece you breath through).
  2. Allow water to enter your face mask and then clear it out by tilting your head back and blowing water out through your nose, pushing all the water out.
  3. Toss the regulator behind your back and recover it by sweeping your arm back and around and then reinsert the regulator in your mouth.

DCIM100GOPROWe stood in the shallow water on the beach and put our gear on and then waded to a slightly deeper area to practice the skills.  I found skills 1 and 3 to be pretty easy, but had a hard time with the second one.  Finally got it and then it was time to do some actual diving.

Breathing underwater was really challenging.  I can’t describe what it was like, but it was definitely very different.  You have to breath a little harder to get the regulator to work.  The air is also compressed in the tank and is, therefore, dryer than normal.  My mouth and throat were starting to get itchy from the dry air.  It took a little time for me to get used to all of this for the first dive.

I did have a lot of fun on the first dive, despite the challenges.  After the dive, we all climbed into the boat, which was following us, and went back to the beach and had lunch.

After lunch, we all got in the boat for the second dive.  The boat went around to the other side of the island, where the water was a little choppy.  We put on our gear while in the boat, and got in the water Navy Seal style (sit on the edge of the boat and roll back into the water.

Unfortunately, I was not able to complete the second dive.  I simply could not calm down and breath normally.  I went back up to the boat and laid down – it took about 20 minutes before I was breathing normally again.  Marlaina said she had the same problem at first but it subsided later.

I will try diving again – maybe next year!